Game Fifty-Six: Cubs (23-32) vs. Angels (25-33)
- Game Time – 9:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 179/844
- Location – Angel Stadium, Anaheim
Scott Feldman (5-4, 2.82/1.17) vs. Jered Weaver (1-1, 3.71/1.18)
The Cubs open a brief two-game series in Anaheim tonight against the underachieving Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels held a team meeting after being losing all four to the Astros in a wraparound series. Thanks to the schedule makers, the Cubs are making a trip to the West Coast for only two days then flying back to Chicago to open a seven game homestand against the Pirates on Friday afternoon.
The Cubs have not played good ball out west for several seasons and will face the Angels two best pitchers over the next two games. After tonight’s matchup of Scott Feldman and Jered Weaver, Matt Garza is scheduled to face lefty Jason Vargas, who was named AL Pitcher of the Month on Monday.
The Cubs and Angels meet again in July at Wrigley (July 9-10) before the Cubs welcome Albert Pujols’ old team in for a four-game series leading up to the All-Star break.
The Cubs and Angels last squared off in June of 2010 at Wrigley Field. Mike Scioscia beat Lou’s Crew two out of three with Carlos Zambrano beating Joe Saunders in the finale to salvage one of the three games.
The Cubs have not played the Angels in Anaheim in nine years. Dusty Baker’s team won two of three in June of 2004 (June 11-13). Glendon Rusch beat Bartolo Colon in the second game and Jon Leicester topped Matt Hensley in the rubber game that took 15 innings to decide. The Cubs approved to 33-29 after Todd Walker drove in Corey Patterson with the game winner.
Pat Hughes and Jim Deshaies have the next two days off. Dave Eanet will call the games with Keith Moreland on 720 WGN while Todd Hollandsworth will fill in for JD on the TV side.
Tonight it all starts with Scott Feldman …
Scott Feldman is coming off another strong outing and his sixth quality start in last seven outings. Feldman held the White Sox in check over six innings his last time out by allowing two runs on six hits with no walks while striking out seven batters. Feldman bounced back nicely from his previous outing against the Reds when he could not complete six innings of work.
Feldman has struggled outside of Wrigley Field this season, which could end up hurting his trade value. While Feldman is 4-1 in five starts at Wrigley with a 1.64 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP, he is just 1-3 in five road starts with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Feldman has less than a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio (20 strikeouts, 13 walks) on the road and more than a 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio at home (31 strikeouts, six walks) … and teams have hit nearly 50 points higher against Feldman at their park (.255) compared to Wrigley (.207).
Scott Feldman is very familiar with the Angels for obvious reasons and tonight will be a big test for him. Feldman is 4-6 lifetime in 20 games, 11 starts, against the Angels with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP … at Angel Stadium, Feldman is 2-4 in 10 games, five starts, with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP.
Angels Career Numbers against Scott Feldman
- Erick Aybar – 9-for-18 with a double and two triples
- Alberto Callaspo – 1-for-13
- Brendan Harris – 5-for-10 with a double
- Howie Kendrick – 5-for-15 with a double, a home run and a walk
Jered Weaver is making just his fourth start of the season tonight. Weaver was placed on the 15-day DL on April 9 with a non-displaced fracture in his left elbow. Weaver was activated on May 29 and many feel his absence is one of the big reasons the Angels have struggled again this season.
Weaver held the Dodgers to one run on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in six innings his last time out. Weaver did not seem to skip a beat in his first start in six weeks. Weaver has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for several years and the Cubs have a tall task in front of them.
The Cubs have faced Jered Weaver once a regular season game and numerous times the Cactus League. Weaver tossed a seven inning gem against the Cubs at Wrigley back on June 19, 2010. Weaver allowed just two hits and no runs or walks while striking out 11. The Angels punished the Cubs to the tune of 12-0.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jered Weaver
- Julio Borbon – 3-for-18
- Starlin Castro – 0-for-2
- David DeJesus – 11-for-36 with two double, two home runs and four walks
- Scott Hairston – 0-for-3
- Dioner Navarro – 1-for-11 with a walk
- Nate Schierholtz – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Ryan Sweeney – 7-for-24 with two doubles and five walks
- Luis Valbuena – 4-for-12 with a double and a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …